And the event staged in Lagos and had international singer Mariah Carey specially imported for millions of naira has continued to attract great controversies. Some believe for the attainments he effected at Access bank, Imokhuede deserved the luxury of such a sent forth and more. Some maintain such extravagance in the face of sack of many workers shows a huge insensitivity by the bank and sends the wrong signals to it's internal and external publics, especially as it negates the principle of prudency in saving cost by sacking and expending so much 'on a party'.
The fact that a foreign news portal went on to lambast brought in singer, Carey and cast aspersion on the event as an alleged money laundrey attempt has not helped the Bank's image.
Here is a glimpse of cost and related matters regarding the now becoming controversial event as reported by maestromedia along with the report by radaronline published by the netng that lambasted Carey for accepting such an engagement.
''It was a glorious send off for the outgoing Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank PLC very recently. The bank management in showing how good their outgoing MD was to them didn't spare any expense whatsoever to send off their MD of many years in the person of the bespectacled Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede at a party that held at the expansive Eko Hotel main hall very recently.
Many have come out to voice the fact that it must have been an opportunity for money to be laundered by those that organized the one of a kind shindig for the man that brought so much joy and profit to a bank that many years ago, was not even near the the list of the top 10 banks in Nigeria, but now as the man is leaving the bank that has become one of the top 5 banks in the country in terms of any yardsticks (asset base, profitability, branch network etc) you might want to use to grade the best banks in the country.
'To show that they are not just a brand you can push over any longer, 2 of those that they brought in to celebrate the outgoing MD/CEO are 2 of the biggest personalities in the world. The first person is one of the most celebrated singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and philanthropist in the world in the person of the extraordinarily gorgeous and gloriously sonorous Mariah Carey, who we heard was at her very best on the night. So good was she on the night as she gave an excellent account of herself, many are still dreaming of a glorious encore even as we speak. For the first class performance it has been speculated that the American singer might have been paid about a million dollars $1,000, 000, that's about N160 million in Naira. Mariah apparently came into the country via a private jet, did what she was paid for and immediately on that same night after her 5-star performance left the shores of this country back to the United States of America. Why such a quick getaway? We cannot just understand, especially after our fantastic reception.
The other big named person that was also part of the activities is none other than the 67 year old former 2 termed President of the United States of America (2001 to 2009), in the person of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the supposed most powerful nation on earth, the USA. He was the special guest speaker at one of the events organized by the bank. Unconfirmed reports also goes that he was handsomely paid to come in. Though the figure speculated is said to have been between $500, 000 to $1, 000, 000 we doubt it would have been that much. Most probably something between $300, 000 & $500, 000, although his first class flight ticket and 5-star accommodation would have been guaranteed also. The former president's normal speaking fee in America is said to be between $100, 000 & $150,000 dollars, for speaking engagements that's between 20minutes to 60 minutes but since he was coming to Nigeria a supposedly not too safe place to come to, but very rich nation, that fee is most likely to have been doubled or at most tripled to make it easier to make the mind up.
That's not all oooooo. Remember very very well that to use Eko Hotel alone would have cost them between N10 million & N15 million, this does not include the fee for drinks & food and equipments and other miscellaneous. We can tell you for a fact that one of the main drinks of choice that was served at the event was none other than Dom Perignon Rose Champagne, which we hear is sold in Nigeria for about N100, 000 per bottle (close to $400 dollars per bottle in America). It was so much at the event, that one of the guests exclaimed that there was about 10 bottles on her table alone. A quick conservative calculation of what might have gone down, 10 bottles per table of 10, multiplied by 150 tables, meaning that if at least 1500 people were guests, at the event it would mean that on Champagne alone close to N150 million might have been spent. Even if only 750 bottles were bought, it means that N75 million would have gone towards champagne alone.
'It didn't just end there. Men!!! All the vendors used for this event would most definitely be having special thanksgiving services at their various churches and mosques already. We heard the goodie bags that each of the lucky guests that came got, couldn't have cost less than N400, 000 par bag.
Remember there are grades of guests, some more special guests might have even gotten more expensive gifts than those valued at N400,000. So if just a thousand guest got the gift bags, it must just mean that about N400million alone might have gone into making the gifts available. Wowwwww!!!!
Plus or minus, without calculating some other expenses that are not too glaring, it must mean that Access Bank Plc, one of Nigeria's most profitable banks must have spent nothing less than N500million (Five Hundred Million Naira- Half a Billion) to send off their old boss- Mr. Imokhuede. Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!What a fantastic amount to spend after a meritorious 12 to 13 years at Access Bank. We nearly forgot to mention that there were not less than 7 Governors at the event.
After such a fantastic and profitable stint as the MD/CEO of Access Bank and quitting to a very loud ovation. Many are of the opinion that the next conquest in the life of the astute, brilliant and no nonsense banker is life most probably in charge as the next Central Bank Governor of Nigeria. 2 others also said to be in consideration for the post are the duo of the Group MD/CEO of First Bank PLC, Mr. Bisi Onasanya & the other person is none other than the MD/CEO of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), in the person of Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi.'
And the other report
' Popular US website Radar Online has blasted Mariah Carey for ‘performing for money men in Nigeria’ describing the country as the ‘World’s centre of bank fraud and human trafficking’.
The US singer performed in Nigeria Over the weekend, at the Access Bank’s annual Christmas gig on Saturday, December 14, 2013. The night was also dedicated the bank’s outgoing Managing Director Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.
Well a writer (who clearly failed to include his/her name and used the pseudo ‘Radar Staff’) at Radar Online feels Mariah Carey’s trip to the West African country was unwarranted alleging that Nigeria is ‘well-known as the center of the world’s email financial crimes’ and is a country ‘well known for terror, death and fraud’.
The writer even goes on to say that the United Nations has described Nigeria as THE ’hub of human trafficking, a source, destination and transit country’.
And if that’s not enough, the website says ‘there are mass killings going on in two Nigerian states right now, and according to Human Rights Watch, the violence is being ignored by federal authorities’.
Mariah Carey’s camp haven’t responded to the report neither have they gotten back to our queries'
Access bank is currently working on portraying the development to better their image.